BuzzFeed Crossword – Friday 5 February 2016

Solve THEMELESS 14, read on below… you know the drill by now.

Fri 2 5

Themeless 14

Constructor: Jacob Zantinge

Theme: None

Ben: Tale of two puzzles for me. Top half was butter, and had great stuff like the Best Clue Ever on EDIBLE UNDERWEAR (14A: Junk food?), plus MEGAN Fox’s GOLDEN RASPBERRY nomination, PERISCOPE (inexplicably not clued to the app) and ASTERIX (40A: Gallic character of comix who takes a performance enhancing substance to fight against the Romans).

Bottom half has some good stuff, but man, the Scrabble-fucking. XOXOX crossing XII and DIOXIDE (the clue 42D: Part of what’s causing global warming? can’t disguise that it’s a 7-letter partial), with ZZZ next door — nope, sorry. Just killed my interest in the puzzle. I ran into a brick wall and barely cared when I finally cracked the two long answers.

To be fair, it’s relatively clean given that the constructor has decided to put 5 Z’s into a 3×2 space — but why would you do that?

Ambitious grid design — nice and open. I particularly like the long stuff that stems out from the middle.

Don’t love the weird cross-referencing going on with 18A, 20A, 23A and 27A. Like the high-value Scrabble letters, it took me right out of the puzzle — both strike me as flash at the expense of solver experience, although obviously I can only speak for myself.

Overall it’s still pretty good, but I was disappointed by the end of the solve, and it kind of soured me on the puzzle.

3 comments
  1. James Woods said:

    The huge concentration of Xs and Zs along with the massive cross-referencing were what did it for me on this one. Otherwise a fairly boring puzzle. To each their own I guess.

    Like

  2. rabonour said:

    I liked XOXOX, though I admit that DIOXIDE and XII are lackluster. I thought this was really good overall, with some great long answers and mostly solid cluing (I agree that all the cross-referencing was a little much, and I think there’s at least a borderline number agreement issue on 35D). Google says it’s a thing, but I have definitely never heard the term FREEZING DRIZZLE before.

    Like

  3. zzedzed said:

    SPICY EDIBLE UNDERWEAR leading to a GOLDEN RASPBERRY sounds like a great evening. PEPPERONI PIZZA in a FREEZING DRIZZLE while tripping with KESEY, not so much.

    Like

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